George W. Bush will attend Biden inauguration to witness 'peaceful transfer of power'

Bush revealed plans on eve of contested electoral vote count by Congress

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush will attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. later this month, his chief of staff Freddie Ford announced on Tuesday.

The Bush family’s plans to attend the inauguration were revealed just one day before Congress is set to meet to review the Electoral College’s voting results. Several prominent Republicans, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, have signaled their intention to object to Biden’s victory due to alleged voting irregularities in battleground states.

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"President and Mrs. Bush look forward to returning to the Capitol for the swearing-in of President Biden and Vice President Harris," Ford wrote on Twitter. "I believe this will be the eighth Inauguration they’ve had the privilege of attending — President Trump’s being the most recent — and witnessing the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy that never gets old."

The George W. Bush Presidential Center did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Bush, 74, is the only living Republican former president. Trump has repeatedly clashed with Bush and his brother, former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, since he entered the political arena.

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Trump hammered Jeb Bush in personal terms during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, referring to the former Florida governor as "low energy" on countless occasions during his campaign.

In May, Trump criticized George W. Bush for his release of a video message calling for unity during the coronavirus pandemic, tweeting the former president was "nowhere to be found" in speaking out against the Democratic Party’s attempt to impeach him.

Bush first congratulated Biden on his election victory on Nov. 8.

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"Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country," Bush said in a statement at the time. 

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, will not attend Biden’s inauguration, a spokesman said earlier Tuesday. Carter, 96, has battled several ailments in recent years.